Kenley’s Story

I met Shane in May 2004; we were 18 years old and I knew he was the love of my life.

We were married in May 2010, and pregnant naturally in June 2010. Landon was born in February 2011 at 35+6 due to severe preeclampsia. He’s been a force to be reckoned with since the day he was born. At my 6 week check up, I had an IUD placed.

February 2013 I had my IUD removed and we started trying again for another child casually. I didn’t ever think we would have issues because we got pregnant with Landon on the first try. I was wrong.

January 2014 I asked my OB to run tests on us as we had been trying and nothing was happening. She told me no. I didn’t like that, so I found someone who would test me. We discovered that I have low AMH (anti- Mullerian hormones). My level when first tested was .58 at 26 years old; normal levels for my age were around 3. I was devastated.

My new OB told me that we could try a few rounds of Clomid to see how my body responded and go from there. I immediately agreed because I was naive and didn’t know anything about infertility issues. We started our first round of Clomid in April 2014, and we got pregnant. This pregnancy ended in an ectopic loss at 5w6d. I was given the Methotrexate shot, and thankfully didn’t need any other medical help to miscarry.

I was told that I could try again immediately after my loss (which I now know is a huge no-no…) so we did. We tried 4 more rounds of Clomid with no success. In August 2014 I decided it was time to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist. I had my initial appointment with him, and we set up a game plan. I decided to bench myself until the Holidays were over that year.

January 2015 I started a mediated cycle with my RE. I was on Tamoxifen, and we were going to do an IUI. At my monitoring appointment, I had over responded so we were canceled. Much to everyone’s surprise we ended up pregnant. That pregnancy ended in a chemical pregnancy, and my betas never rose about 10. We were benched for one cycle, and decided to do our first IUI in March 2015. The cycle failed which was super hard on us because we were completely out of pocket for cost. We thought $500 for the cycle was just so much money (at the time, we didn’t know we would eventually need IVF…).

April rolled up, and I asked my RE if I could do injectable medications with an IUI. He agreed and I was put on Follistim. I responded very quickly- 5 days of stims- trigger on the 6th day. The IUI took about 20 minutes, and 4 different doctors to be finished, but it worked. This is the cycle I got pregnant with my beautiful girl.

Our pregnancy was uneventful. It was healthy, and my blood pressure was so good the entire time. I didn’t gain more than 20 lbs. Stupidly I returned to the first OB who refused to test me initially, and chose her to be my primary care OB through this pregnancy. Shortly, Shane and I realized we didn’t like this doctor but we decided to give her up until the anatomy scan to redeem herself. Anyone who has been pregnant knows that an anatomy scan is a huge deal for a pregnant woman. You get a very in-depth look at your sweet child.

My anatomy scan was a total of 9 minutes from the minute I was taken back to the ultrasound room, until we sat down in our car. NINE MINUTES. To this day, I believe that the ultrasound tech missed something on Kenley’s scan, and had we known that maybe she would have received extra scans or been cared for by an MFM. Shane and I left the practice after this, and went to the OB who discovered my infertility issues to begin with. Their office was kind enough to give us a new anatomy scan, and we were able to see our girl. They said everything looked fine, and we were given a bunch of photos of her.

Everything progressed normally, and at 36 weeks I was given a growth scan. She was perfect. Everything looked normal, and fine. I was never given any indications that anything was wrong.

On December 23rd I had my 37+5 week appointment. Baby girl had a wonderful heart beat- 142bpm. I had been having weird contractions but was assured that it was normal. Christmas came and we celebrated the upcoming birth of our daughter. Everyone was so very excited; she even had a stocking. December 26th, I began having intense contractions and called the OB on call. She assured me that this was normal and to only go in to L+D “if it made me feel better”. I decided that she seemed less than concerned so maybe I was over reacting. I didn’t go. A decision that will haunt me until the day that I die.

Over the next few days, I had contractions come and go. I was able to time them, and just kept hearing my OB tell me it was normal. December 28th @ 2 pm I remember laying on my bed, and using my doppler; I hadn’t used to in about 2 months but something made me want to use it. Kenley’s heartbeat was 140bpm, exactly where she would usually fall. I recorded it and sent it to Shane. He replied ” What a nice strong heartbeat! She’ll be here soon!”.  On December 29th, I woke up feeling off. I took Landon to my mother in laws, and spent the day at home cleaning. I told Shane multiple times via text that we were going to the hospital tonight. When he got home, we both took our time getting ready; we packed her entire diaper bag, and got the video camera ready.

When we arrived at L+D, we walked to the triage room, and signed in. We waited just a few minutes and were taken back. I was hooked up the monitor and they were unable to find her heartbeat at first. Sometimes she liked to hide, so I didn’t think anything of it. As time passed, I just knew. I remember looking at Shane and giving him a look of all knowing, and he shook his head no. I didn’t want to believe it either, but I knew it. They called in a bunch of people and finally the on call OB to do an ultrasound on our baby girl. The OB on call was the OB who refused to test me, and gave me the 9 minute anatomy scan. How fucking cruel. She did the scan, and said words that I will never be able to get out of my head- “I’m sorry, unfortunately there is no heartbeat”. Unfortunately. What kind of word is that to use? I remember looking at her and screaming “WHAT DO YOU MEAN UNFORTUNATELY?”…

The wheeled us to a room, and I don’t remember much after this. I was scheduled for a c-section at 10:30pm, and Kenley was born silent into this world at 10:32. The loudest sound of my life was not hearing her cry when they took her from my body.

Kenley Alden was born sleeping on 12.29.15 at 38w4d. She was 7lbs 5oz, and 20 inches long. Our sweet girl had a head full of beautiful auburn hair, and looked so much like her older brother. She had her Daddy’s nose, and lips. She would have had her Mommy’s eyes. She had 3 freckles in the shape of a triangle at the corner of he left eye. She was perfection.

The next two days were spent crying; I couldn’t stop. I just wanted my daughter back.  I look back now and wish I would have been able to control my sadness because I don’t remember it. I only remember how sad I was. I remember being out of it from the meds, and thinking how this couldn’t be my life. We were fortunate enough to have NILMDTS (now I lay me down to sleep) take photos of Kenley and us. I will cherish those photos forever, because they are all that I have. Shane took some photos of her as well, and those are my favorites. They were from when she was very first born.

The sadness that I feel every single day since I lost my beautiful girl is inexplainable. There are just no words to express how it feels to hold your lifeless daughter; the daughter you struggled to get pregnant with. Your daughter who was wanted, and planned. The daughter who took part of your heart when she left this world.

There will always be a Kenley shaped hole in my heart that can’t be filled.

I love you sweet girl. I will love you until the day that I die.